WASHINGTON—Today, Rep. Raul M. Grijalva and Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick sent a letter to DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and President Trump demanding an immediate reversal of the DHS policy to remove customs officers from the ports of entry and reassign them to support Border Patrol activities.
“Trump has created this humanitarian crisis at our southern border,” said Rep. Grijalva. “His latest decision to reassign customs officers from ports of entry means less agents dedicated to stopping the flow of illegal drugs into communities reeling from an opioid crisis. Southern Arizona’s economy depends on the robust flow of goods, services, and people across the border, and reassigning officers will negatively impact everything from tourism to the fresh produce industry. Mexico is America’s third largest trading partner, with $612 billion in trade between the two countries in 2018. The Administration must immediately reverse this short-sighted decision and return these officers to their posts.”
Rep. Grijalva has long supported a comprehensive approach to the southern border and care for asylum seekers. This includes working with the Northern Triangle countries to address criminal organizations, violence, government corruption, and food insecurity causing migrants to flee; ensuring that asylum seekers are processed in an efficient and dignified manner, and funding alternatives to detention like the Family Case Management Program that are extremely effective and save taxpayers money.
“Addressing this crisis starts with addressing the root causes of migration and the humane treatment of those already at our southern border,” he continued. “By working with the governments of the Northern Triangle countries and focusing on alternatives to detention that provide asylum seekers with the resources they need to successfully navigate the asylum process, we can effectively and efficiently address the current issues facing our southern border. Trump’s xenophobic policies have already damaged our immigration system and international reputation, and we must not let them destroy our values.”
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